The Nigeria Union of Journalists has described the death of Sam Nda-Isaiah, publisher of Leadership Newspapers, as “shocking”, and declared that the media world had lost a great icon.
In a statement signed by Midat Joseph, its Assistant National Secretary, the NUJ said that Nda-Isaiah’s demise had “marked the end of an eventful era of a Newspaperman”.
“This is a great loss to all, particularly the journalism profession, where Nda-Isaiah made his mark.
“The NUJ, and the entire nation, no doubt benefited immensely from his wealth of experience and commitment to national development.
“Sam Nda-Isaiah did not just build bridges among people of different ethnic, religious and political persuasions; he also encouraged unity, peace and tolerance in the country.
“Though a pharmacist, the deceased distinguished himself in the journalism profession where he played a critical role toward promoting freedom of expression and the press.
“He also encouraged responsible journalism practice aimed at promoting nation-building and propagation of truth, justice and the fight against corruption.
“While alive, Sam was one of the most strident and balanced voices of journalism in Nigeria. He was incisive, brutally frank and unapologetic in expressing opinion,” the statement said.
It added that Nda-Isaiah will be remembered for his boldness, can-do spirit and innovativeness.
The statement further said that NUJ would always remember the pharmacist for his determination to speak truth to power without fear.
The NUJ urged the Federal Government to immortalise Nda-Isaiah, declaring that “the death of this patriot must not go unnoticed”.
It prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and comfort his family and workers of the Leadership Newspapers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nda-Isaiah died on Friday after a brief illness. He was aged 58.